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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

BAM! POW! Comic Books and the Law

Calling all comic book fans and those looking for a fun study break --
Two attorneys, James Daily and Ryan Davidson, who are both recent law school graduates, maintain a great blog called Law and the Multiverse where they explore the legal implications of various comic book scenarios and the behavior of comic book heroes and villains. Have you ever wondered:
  • Are mutants a protected class?
  • Who foots the bill when a hero damages property while fighting a villain?
  • What happens legally when a character comes back from the dead?
The authors use primary source material to support their discussions while considering issues such as sexual harassment in the workplace, as depicted in the recently-released Green Hornet movie, and comic book characters' use of social security numbers to hide their true identities and create alter egos. Fun stuff!
A good interview with this authors can be found here. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

SXSW March 12

Jessica R. Alexander, J.D., M.L.S., Reference Librarian

I am attending a presentation called "Why Government Data Makes Taxpayers Happy. The Data analysis experts from the Texas Comptrollers Office are discussing "open data." There is a website called TexasTransparency.org. One purpose of the project is to provide data on how federal stimulus money is being spent by the state. American Recovery and Investment Act funding by regions, counties is available. A federal website called Data.gov provides information on tax receipts and expenditures. Google has a tax visualization utility.

The presenters powerpoint has a screen headed "Government Data Can Save Lives. - NOAA.gov, etc.

They highlight ClaimITTexas.org which visualizes data on unclaimed property. Texas has outreach efforts to help citizen awareness of unclaimed property.

The presenters emphasize Google Earth mapping tools to enhance data presentation. Using free web tools saves the state the development costs.

After the conference I will follow up on this subject.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Announcing the South Texas College of Law Digital Collection

by Heather Kushnerick, Special Collections Librarian

The Fred Parks Law Library would like to announce our first four collections, now available online. Our inaugural collections celebrate the history of South Texas College of Law and the success of our nationally ranked Advocacy Program. We are also proud to feature a collection that brings to light a forgotten race riot and the largest murder trial in American history.

You can now view early South Texas School of Law catalogs, browse the photos of our winning Advocacy teams, examine YMCA postcards, and read through JAG documents on the three courts-martial that stemmed from the Houston Riot of 1917. These four collections are still growing and soon other collections and documents will be added, including a letter written in 1823 by Sir William Adams, “surgeon and oculist-extraordinary to the prince regent,” to the First Lord of the Admiralty, Robert Dundas, Lord Melville, supporting British recognition of Latin American countries newly independent from Spain. This is the beginning of an effort to bring materials from the South Texas College of Law Archives, Manuscript Collection, and Rare Book Collection to the attention of the South Texas community and allow greater access to materials that, due to their condition and age, must be kept in a closed stack, climate controlled environment.

You can go to http://libguides.stcl.edu/DigitalCollections to learn more about each collection or browse them directly at http://digitalcollections.stcl.edu/ .

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Annotations Archive is now online

by Heather Kushnerick, Special Collections Librarian


What was going on at South Texas in April 1976? When did the campus first get Westlaw access? When did Justice Clarence Thomas visit the campus? We used to have a football team? You can now learn the answers to all these questions and more by browsing the Annotations Archive online. The library has partnered with the Portal to Texas History in order to provide digital access to our campus newspaper, Annotations, dating from 1967 to March 2010. The last paper issues of our newspaper had not been printed when the project was begun, and those few remaining issues will be added soon. You can find Annotations at http://texashistory.unt.edu/explore/partners/STXCL/browse/.

The Portal to Texas History, hosted by the University of North Texas, has partnered with hundreds of Texas libraries, universities, museums, and historical societies in order to share and showcase unique collections.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

FREE scanning in the library!

New FREE scanning options are now available in the library! You may have already used our desktop scanner, located next to the Patron Services desk, which allows you to save your scanned images to a USB drive or send them to your email account, but you might not be aware that our new photocopiers on floors 2, 4, and 5 also have scanning capabilities.

Which scanner should I use?

Features of the desktop scanner:
  • Color scanning

  • Auto correction for page placement

  • See your image on the monitor before saving it

  • Crop your image before saving it

  • Specify desired file type (JPG, TIFF, PDF -- with or without OCR)

  • Best for low volume jobs, especially when using the email function. File size is limited to 10 MB when sending by email; USB storage is limited only by the storage capacity of your drive.
Features of the Oce Photocopiers:
  • Scan to USB drive only

  • Adjust settings for brightness and image size

  • Black and white scanning only

  • No image preview feature

  • All files saved as PDFs (without OCR)

  • Best for high volume jobs when original document is unbound (loose pages). The automatic sheet feeder is heavy-duty, and it allows for the scanning of double-sided documents.

  • Slight learning curve when scanning images from bound source material into a single PDF
Regardless of which machine you use, all scanning in the library is free for students. To activate the Oce photocopiers, a copy card with at least $0.10 value is required, but no money will be deducted. Copy cards can be checked out with your student ID at the Patron Services desk.

The desktop scanner is very user friendly, and, while scanning on the photocopiers can take a little getting used to, there are detailed instructions posted next to each machine. Of course, if you need help using any of the machines, please let us know.